What do I need to start off?

Questions from those who are just starting or considering getting into the ant keeping hobby. If you’re intimidated or confused by the in-depth posts of the other sections of this forum, feel free to post here, and we'll start from square one!

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What do I need to start off?

Post: # 31988Post Ozmoose
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:41 pm

I have been looking into getting an ant colony for ages now and I realy want to get started but I don't know what I need equipment-wise. I don't know what ant speicies I will get but it will be from England. If you have any recommendations please let me know. Something practical and cheap would be best :)

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Location: San jose

Re: What do I need to start off?

Post: # 31996Post IntotheAM
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:37 pm


Honestly, it depends if you want a pure professional setup vs a home made one.

Personally, it is a lot more fun to create Do-it-Yourself (DIY) formacriums. For supplies:

Plastic containers (for housing ants and feeder insects)
Plastic test tubes (capture queens)
Cotton balls (for numerous uses)
And some kind of medium for ants to dig around it (I use cocofiber)

The more detail you give about what kind of ants you are planning on keeping, the better feedback people can give you.
Keeper of:

3 young tetramorium colonies (30 to 40 workers each)

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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:55 am
Location: Arizona

Re: What do I need to start off?

Post: # 32261Post AntsArizona
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:27 am

I started July of this year and during that time, I'd say just test tubes and cotton first. It took me quite some time to catch my first queen, so anything else you buy wouldn't be used for quite some time. Just start off with 10-20 Test tubes. You can them super cheap online, and some cotton.

Even after you catch your first queen, you're gonna leave them alone in the dark for about a month anyways until they have their first workers. Then you can get feeder insects like fruit flies or crickets and honey to feed them. Everything can be done in the test tube for the first 2 months of capturing.

It was only after my first queens had like 10 workers did I start getting things like Containers and Portals to connect to their Test Tube Setups to expand their worlds.

Good Luck!

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